This is my favorite picture from the Someone Wicked Publication Celebration at Newark Arts Alliance on Saturday, where eight of my fellow authors and I performed excerpts of twenty stories from the spectacular Someone Wicked Written Remains anthology.
I had a blast at the event – loved talking with friends and fans, loved listening to the stories, and loved performing. I even slipped into a southern drawl during my performance of Chantal Noordeloos’ “Mirror Mirror” – something I hadn’t planned to do, but the dialog seemed to invite it, so I rolled with it.
Unfortunately, though, this is going to be one of those memories I avoid revisiting in pictures because of how I look. I’ve lost half of my pregnancy weight in just 10 weeks, but for me, as with many women, it’s hard to look at HOW we look with anything but a glass-half-empty mentality.
Weight has always been the Achilles’ Heel to my ego. I was fat as a kid, and tormented for it, and turned into an anorexic teenager to make up for it. Even after I found my ideal weight, my height has always made me feel like a giant compared to other women. It’s been a lifelong challenge to embrace my body type, to love who I am inside AND out. Add *cough*-ty pounds of baby weight, I end up feeling like a holiday float.
So when I look at the pictures from my reading, I don’t see a lady who is already halfway back to her pre-pregnancy figure. I see a holiday float in front of a microphone.
But that’s ok. Looking back through my old journals, I reminded myself that it took eight months to lose the weight from my first child (which is fair, I think, since it took ten months to put it on!) Thanks to nursing and a whole foods diet, I also lost *cough*-ty extra pounds, so that by the time my son had his first birthday I was sleek and happy in my size 10 jeans – just right for my type.
I’m hoping to do the same thing this time around. I’m eating healthy whole foods again, aspiring to exercise (heh), and watching the weight come down in a natural way (read: slow). In the meantime, I’m trying to be kind to myself. I’m enjoying my baby girl. I’m embracing the things that I love, like writing. Like performing. I may never be able to gaze at those pictures of me at the mic with a warm fuzzy feeling, even when (and if) I lose the weight… but at least I’ll have the memories. Float or no float, I did go to that party, I did get up to that mic, and I did do my thing. And it was awesome.
I think that’s key to a full life: you don’t HAVE to love every inch of yourself, but you do need to be kind to you, and love you as a whole. You need your whole self to show up, after all. If you’re half-glassing it, you’re only half living.
I do need to get a babysitter, though, so I can get myself to that salon. Note to self. A nice cut and color can do wonders for self-love.